~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ from Tracey M. Cox

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~Happy New Year~

Welcome to 2015!

I know many of you are focusing on your New Year’s Resolutions, and I do have a few of my own, but today I like to reflect back on the past year and see where I have grown and what I have accomplished.

  • Platform Building
    My goal for 2014 was to establish myself on the internet and become comfortable with what I stand for. Pre-2014 when you did a search on “Tracey M. Cox” you would find a different author. Now I have at least 2 pages full of articles, videos, social media contact, etc where you can find me. My platform? How to market with little to no money is still in its infancy, but I know the direction it is heading in and I feel confident in where it is going.
  • Better Content
    I’ve done research and feel my output is so much better this year. I hope others learn from me and can pass it forward too. Better content also builds on platform. I hope to be known as a trusted source and someone who loves to bounce ideas off with.
  • Marketing
    THIS was a biggie for me. I’ve learned to toot my own horn. Carry business cards and books with me. Not to be shy about telling others I write AND love it!  🙂  I also am learning the fine line of marketing and being pushy. Nobody wants to be battered over the head and I don’t want to be the person you see and want to run from.  😉
  • Writing
    My writing has improved so much this year. Researching again and again. Critique groups!!!!!!!!! Taking classes. All this, and an open mind, has contributed to my writing this year.
  • Friendships
    I’ve lost some this year. Some by death, others by their choice. I don’t know which is harder. Still, you have to learn to let go.
    I’ve gained some this year. There are some wonderful people I can’t wait to get to know better.
    Then there are the ones who have remained a constant in my life. I’m thankful for all they have given me. I only hope they feel the same about me.

So what is up with this year?

I’ll be keeping up with the same schedule:
Monday – Marketing
Tuesday – Tips
Wednesday – www.
Thursday – Thinking
Friday – Features (when I have some volunteers)
So two to three posts a week.  🙂  I plan on going into better depth and expanding my knowledge on marketing and kidlit. I hope to have a few surprises this year too. *fingers crossed*

What I hope to accomplish past this blog?

  • Learn to use social media more effectively.
  • Get an agent
  • Book contract
  • Work on writing
  • Work on illustrating
  • Books Love & Taters Book Festival (4th annual) to be bigger and better this year

I hope to see you into the year too!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you would love to achieve this year.
What are some things you accomplished in 2014?
How do you plan to build on last year?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tips: 7 Different Types of Presentations

presentation_01.svg.med7 Different Types of Presentations

 

Today I’m continuing my block of post on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

 

 As I begin winding down my SCHOOL VISITS blogging block. I thought I would touch on the seven presentations that come to my mind when I try to make up, or revise, one of my presentations.

  1.  Reading
    Read a book or two. It can be all yours or mix it up. Ask them what they liked about each book. This can help you in seeing what’s interesting to them too! Research. 🙂  This presentation works great for the younger ages. Although I have had high school students who love this too. I don’t think we ever grow out of liking to hear a story being told.
  2. Writing Process
    Take the students through your writing process. They will see that you have to do several things just like they do. This helps make the connection of carrying-through for life on what they are learning. This presentation works great for mid-elementary all the way through high school.
  3. Different Genres
    This type of presentation you can bring different books for each genre. You can go into word count and content on how each genre is different and how they can build on each other with information. I like telling them my ya version of a nursery rhyme and seeing if they can guess which one it is.
  4. How to Submit
    For this type of presentation you can go into revisions, researching publishing houses and magazines, show them what different rejections look like and what an acceptance letter looks like too. You can also let them know that the work isn’t done then. We market, promote, send in for awards and reviews, etc. This takes them into the business side of writing.
  5. Writing Workshop
    This type of presentation is where you can show them how characters need setting and conflict, how to pace and move the story along, and how to come to a conclusion. Most of these will have a ‘book’ that the students can keep. Here’s a video:

6.  Illustrating How To Draw
This type of presentation is where you can show students how a character develops.
Check out this video:

7.  Specialty Program
Do you have a book that is geared toward an event or something specific? If so, having a presentation which features this is a great way to get a message across. Maybe is it about the Underground Railroad, or Women’s Rights, or Native American oriented, or Stranger Danger issued. There are tons of topics that schools like to address and a great way to get your foot in the door.

 

So what do you think? Any of these get your brain buzzing with ideas for a presentation? Let me know what you think.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you know of any other presentation ideas?
Have any questions?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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www. WHERE Can You Hold a School Visit

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www. Where Can You Hold A School Visit

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

A few people have asked me where am I able to hold a SCHOOL VISIT at? My answer to this question is literally almost anywhere! In today’s technology, we don’t have to physically be somewhere to be able to see and hear someone.

While I absolutely LOVE going to a school and holding an in person visit, that may not always be an option. Distance and school budgets can be a big factor.

BUDGETS:
Schools budgets are getting tighter and tighter. While they encourage interaction, they may not be able to afford an author’s honorarium, plus traveling expense.

DISTANCE:
I have had several schools in-state that want to book me, but because of the travel expense they cannot afford it. There is mileage rate. I charge $0.56/mile, which is Federal Standard Mileage Rate. For places where I have over 2+ hours driving time, I request a hotel for the night before. If there is an extended drive, authors can ask for plane tickets too.

???So What To Do???

Welcome to the internet! 🙂

You can still visit schools by offering online visits. I offer these through Skype or Google+Hangouts. If you do a Google+Hangouts On Air, you can record the event for later use too.

Set up is simple.

If you have a Google email account you are ready to go. Hangouts selection is on a column bar on the right-side of your screen. Add your contact person to one of your circles and you can connect with the via Hangouts.

For Skype, you’ll need to create an account and download the free software. Add your contact person and you are ready.

I always like to do a test run with the school. This helps get any bugs out, wiring difficulties, sound check, and visual components.

There is a website you can sign up with: Skype In the Classroom, where you can post your presentations.
PROS: Great place to get your name out there. You are seen world wide. Your not restricted by regions.
CONS: Your presentations have to be free. I do ask them to send home a few flyers. (One on me, my bio, and one about my books, which also includes my website.) I also send them a flyer so they can announce that I will be ‘visiting’ their school.

It’s a wonderful experience. I have visited New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, and a few other places with this great avenue.

If you choose to do this: For the free ones, may I suggest paring down one or two of your presentations. Maybe do a quick reading and then allow 10 minutes for q&a. Maybe send a form before-hand letting them explore the writing process and then you can go over it and give them 10 minutes for follow-up and/or q&a.

The point being, the only thing to stop you from visiting a school is your own creativity. So that shouldn’t stop any of you. We are writers and illustrators after all. 🙂

Hopefully this gave you some ideas and maybe got you thinking some too.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about online visits?
What do you think about in person visits?
Do you have any questions about online or in person visits?
Let me know.

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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